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HHS Creates $80M Program to Build Up Public Health IT Workforce; Secretary Xavier Becerra Quoted

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Xavier Becerra
Xavier Becerra Secretary HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has received $80 million in funds through the American Rescue Plan for a program that seeks to train over 4,000 individuals in public health informatics and technology fields over a period of four years. 

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for health information technology at HHS will award up to $75 million in cooperative agreements through the Public Health Informatics and Technology Workforce Development Program, HHS said Thursday.

ONC is inviting universities and colleges, including historically black colleges and universities, to participate in the PHIT Workforce Program and expects award recipients to ensure the sustainability of training, placement and certificate programs to establish a diverse pool of public health IT professionals.

“With this funding, we will be able to train and create new opportunities for thousands of minorities long underrepresented in our public health informatics and technology fields. Investing in efforts that create a pipeline of diverse professionals, particularly in high-skilled public health technology fields, will help us better prepare for future public health emergencies,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient.

Applications for the PHIT Workforce Program are due Aug. 11th. ONC will hold an information session about the funding opportunity for the initiative on Wednesday, June 23rd, and expects to make awards by Sept. 14th.